Trump’s Two-Track Foreign Policy: Declare, Then Deny

U.S. President Donald Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis, speaks during an event at the Pentagon, Washington D.C., Jan. 27, 2017 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).
U.S. President Donald Trump, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis, speaks during an event at the Pentagon, Washington D.C., Jan. 27, 2017 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).
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One month into Donald Trump’s presidency, it’s much too early to expect a fully coherent “Trump doctrine” on foreign policy. But the clear outlines of the Trump administration’s modus operandi are emerging, and it looks unlike anything we have seen before. The new administration has put in place a two-track foreign policy approach to the principal issues on the global agenda. The two tracks are not parallel; if anything, they are perpendicular and contradictory. On one track, Trump makes vague policy pronouncements over Twitter, in speeches and at press conferences. The president often reverses course and contradicts himself. On the […]

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